Fintech Report Card: November 2021

24 Nov 2021

Below is the November edition of the Fintech Report Card, a monthly piece by Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein originally published in WealthManagement.com. 

 

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Advisor Group Invests Big in Technology Upgrades

What Happened: Advisor Group announced it will spend $65 million to update the technology it offers its 10,000 advisors, with a focus on four key areas.

 

Why It Matters: $65 million is a wild amount to invest in technology, but it’s a symbol of how many wealth management enterprises are laser focused on driving growth for the advisors they serve, and Advisor Group is at the forefront of that movement. With a new workflow hub, onboarding tools, advisor BI dashboard, and partnership for marketing videos, AG advisors are in for some great new experiences and tools.

 

Disclosure: Riskalyze has a broker-dealer partnership with Advisor Group.


Advyzon Integrates with FeeX

What Happened: Advyzon, a performance and billing platform, will integrate with FeeX, an aggregation and trading solution, to improve the management of held away assets.

Why It Matters: Advyzon has made a number of moves lately to enhance its technology integrations, like a recent integration of OnRamp Invest for crypto holdings. The addition of FeeX adds additional held-away asset management capabilities to Advyzon so its users can get deeper insights into clients’ finances (including those outside of the advisor’s control).

 

Disclosure: Advyzon is a Riskalyze integration partner.


Schwab Updates iRebal's User Interface

What Happened: Schwab announced visual improvements to the iRebal rebalancing technology, built by TD Ameritrade.

 

Why It Matters: This was a long-awaited facelift for iRebal, and the TD advisors who love it are excited to see their tech get a nice new skin. The surprising twist to the news was that it will be 2023 before Schwab advisors can get their hands on it—but nobody said clearing platform mergers were easy! Schwab’s technology team is working hard to merge two of the biggest platforms together, and iRebal is a key part of that work.

 

Disclosure: Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade are Riskalyze integration partners, and Riskalyze Trading is a competitor to iRebal.


Abby Salameh Joins CAIS as CMO

What Happened: Abby Salameh, previously CMO at both Hightower and Private Advisor Group, had stepped away from an operating job and thought she might consult for the industry she knows so well. But opportunity came knocking instead, and she’s back as Chief Marketing Officer of CAIS, an alternative investments platform.

 

Why It Matters: Alternative investments like private equity and hedge funds are climbing in demand with advisors because clients are looking for unique ways to generate solid risk-adjusted returns. But there’s still a lot of work to be done to convince advisors to do the extra work it takes to facilitate them. Abby is the expert on how to build strong brands, and she may be just what CAIS needs to create an approachable marketing strategy to win over advisors.


Docupace Acquires PreciseFP

What Happened: Docupace, a cloud-based back office operations platform, announced the acquisition of PreciseFP, which delivers client engagement and discovery tools to advisors.

 

Why It Matters: Most wealthtech acquisition talk centers on the comprehensive wealth management solutions—like Envestnet, Orion, and InvestCloud—who continually snap up smaller companies to build ever larger ecosystems. But they aren’t the only players building interesting platforms. Docupace has long been a leader in back office operations tech, and PreciseFP adds client-facing technology that gives the company an even stronger end-to-end solution from prospect, to client, to advisor. Congratulations to David Knoch and the whole Docupace team.


Interactive Brokers Gets Into the Crypto Game

What Happened: Interactive Brokers announced the ability to trade and custody four different cryptocurrencies for  its nearly 6,000 RIA clients.

 

Why It Matters: The crypto adoption train rolls on. Interactive Brokers will allow for trading and custody of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash—with actual custody handled through Paxos Trust Company. Even if advisors aren’t yet actively allocating to crypto, dealing with clients who bring crypto to the party could be appealing.


Pershing Adds LearnVest Exec to Speed up Tech Deployment

What Happened: Pershing added Ainslie Simmonds as President of its new Pershing X division, designed as a new technology strategy for the custodian.

 

Why It Matters: Rumors abound on what Pershing X is all about—is this about accelerating Pershing’s delivery of technology for the core custodial platform...or building a new multi-custodial competitor to the Orions, Black Diamonds, and Tamaracs of the world...or both? Ainslie Simmonds is an experienced player in the financial services tech space, and this is a fascinating hire. It’ll be very interesting to see how it plays out.

 

Disclosure: Pershing is a Riskalyze integration partner.


Vinovest Puts Fine Wine Investing in a Mobile App

What Happened: Vinovest, a digital platform that provides access to fine wine investing, announced a new mobile app that allows investors to manage their wine portfolios from their smartphones.

 

Why It Matters: Paging Abby Salameh—it looks like there’s a new alternative investment you may want to distribute at CAIS! Vinovest is a fascinating way that wine lovers can turn a hobby into a real investment. We’re about to find out if wine can move from conspicuous consumption to asset class appreciation.


Aaron Klein is CEO at Riskalyze.

Editors note: The views expressed in this column are Aaron Klein’s, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of WealthManagement.com.


For more great content, visit WealthManagement.com.

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